As the art world prepares its descent into Hong Kong later this month for Art Basel, it is easy to get carried away by the flashy and flamboyant blue chip artworks taking centre stage. Those who make the trip down to Hong Kong during this time might wonder – these big-named, international artists are well and good, but where and how can I discover lesser-known local artists residing here?
Recently, many art spaces housed in renovated industrial spaces have sprouted all over the city, giving art lovers and urban trekkers new ground to explore. Over at MILL6 Foundation’s pop up space (The Annex, 2/F, Nan Fung Place, 173 Des Voeux Road Central), artists Kwan Sheung Chi and Mariana Hahn present “Social Fabric”. It features works based on the declining silk and textile industry that formerly flourished in Hong Kong. MILL6 has been holding temporary, pop-up shows before the completion of its permanent home in 2018, which will be housed in a refurbished heritage building in Tsuen Wan.
Simultaneously, the Wong Chuk Hang warehouse district situated on the south side of Hong Kong Island continues to be a popular destination for smaller galleries showcasing young, emerging local artists.
During Art Basel, contemporary photography hub, Blindspot Gallery (15/F, Po Chai Industrial Building, 28 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Wong Chuk Hang) will present “A Permanent Instant”. Featuring local artists Choi Yan Chi, Wing Shya, Joseph Fung and Lee Ka Sing, this exhibition is characterized by its spontaneous, lo-fi appeal, surrounding the era of instant photography from the 1980s – 2000s.
In contrast, iconic and upscale mall, The Landmark plays host to the exhibition, “Be Inspired in Central” inspired by the city’s addiction to shopping. It will showcase 14 works from renowned master artists, Renoir and Rubens, Salvador Dali and Yayoi Kusama alongside local artists Luis Chan, Tseng Kwong-Chi and Adrian Wong. The exhibition layout, designed by local architect Rocco Yim, features an aerial “vision tunnel”, enhancing the audiences’ viewing perspective. This collaboration is slated to house masterpieces that have a combined worth of HK$100 million.
In addition, The Landmark’s developer, Hong Kong Land puts the spotlight on 25 sculptures made by the late British artist Lynn Chadwick, featured across multiple properties in the Central district. His works aim to encourage interaction and engagement with the general public during this vibrant season of art.
Portugese street artist, Alexandre Farto aka Vhils will present “Debris” in collaboration with the Hong Kong Contemporary Art Foundation (HOCA) on the city’s trams and at Pier 4, next to the International Finance Centre (IFC). This work, inspired by the swift pace of life in Hong Kong, will also highlight some of the city’s most unique features. Using discarded neon signs and various scrap materials as his medium, Vhils creates an immersive experience for his viewers, encouraging them to reimagine Hong Kong’s distinctive cityscape.